1. James gives several imperatives in this section.
A: The goal of these imperatives is repentance. What does it mean to repent? Why is repentance necessary in the Christian life?
B: In v. 7, the first imperative is to submit yourselves to God. Submitting to God is yielding to God’s authority in light of His grace. What makes submitting to God so challenging? What are the areas of life where submitting to God’s authority is most difficult for you?
2. We then looked at v. 7 & the call to resist the devil.
A: Take a moment to read Ephesians 6:10-20. What does this passage teach us about how we oppose the schemes of the devil? What are practical ways that you can put on the armor of God in your life right now?
B: Reading the second half of the imperative, we get a promise: Satan will flee. He is a defeated foe. How does knowing that Satan is a defeated foe encourage you to walk in obedience to God & in opposition to our Enemy?
3. We then looked at v. 8 & the call to draw near to God.
A: Drawing near to God means to have a closeness to God. What has helped you grow closer to God in the past? What are areas of spiritual discipline that you want to develop so that you can grow closer to God?
B. Pastor Nate said that there are no shortcuts to knowing God. What are some of the shortcuts that people try to take instead of following the path of spiritual discipline?
4. Next we talked about cleansing your hands & purifying your hearts in light of v. 8.
A: The passage talks about cleansing your hands, which is connected with confessing your sins…specifically public sins. Why do so many people have trouble confessing their sins, even their public sins?
B. The passage also deals with purifying your hearts…addressing and confessing internal sins. What happens when you take your sin seriously & confess it? How does confession & repentance bring purity to a person’s heart?
5. We ended with questions to consider.
A: The question was posed, “Why should we fully surrender to God?” And most people answer in one of two ways: either to get something FROM God or because God IS worthy. What is the difference in these two answers?
B: Read Revelation 4:9-11 & 5:9-14. God created us for His glory & has rescued us through the blood of Christ. When was the last time you took time to praise God & thank God for who He is & what He’s done?